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The basketball court up the hill

The sale of some town-owned property to the local bank brought some nods and support via comments and chatter around town.

But some are still worried about the loss of the basketball court. The land the Luther First Bank & Trust, soon-to-be Bancfirst, purchased currently is the space where a public basketball/tennis court is, as well as a Veterans monument. The 1.75 acre area is at the north end of Wildhorse Park, west of the baseball field and east of the Dollar General that faces Highway 66.

Where will the kids play ball? Why are the kids being overlooked? Those are some of the questions.

However, this court that features two adjacent basketball hoops not suitable for a full-court game and is divided by a chainlink fence that could double as a tennis court net, is not the only public court in town.

There’s another court up the hill at Luther’s historic Booker T Washington Park. It’s west of downtown, up Fifth Street and by the current Armstrong Headstart building.

Take a trip to the park and you’ll find a full basketball court, with a bench for spectators. There’s some playground equipment, a perimeter walking trail, picnic area and many historic markers that tell the story of the historic high school and the dedication of the park back in 1998 when Luther had it’s centennial.

Town Trustees have taken note of the complaints about the loss of the courts at Wildhorse Park and say give them some time to address the issue. The sale of this land took nearly a year and was agreed upon just this week.  

Trustee Trandy Langston said the intention is never for children to go without.

“I feel that the loss of the courts, for time is minimal. It’s an absolute win for the town with the beautiful building that they’re bringing to us. Change is going to happen and I hope we can use it as an opportunity to update what we had and make it better,” she said. Langston is a parent coach who utilizes the park for many activities.

“I think we’re making great headway with town business and hope that citizens will continue to entrust that we’re doing the best we can, with what we think is right. There is still much to do, and there is a long road to pave. I’m sure as everyone is aware, merely by the length of our agendas, there are pressing issues that must be addressed first.  We will get there, we just need time,” she said.

Mayor Jenni White also said she was encouraged by the community comments regarding the ball courts and the park. She said the new Town Parks Commission and the board are committed to the beautification of the Town.

“I imagine these citizens will want to absolutely get involved as the Parks Commission delves into writing grants to improve our parks next year. In addition, the Parks Commission will truly require fundraising assistance from the community in order to secure at least one of the grants which will be written for park improvements,” she said.

Meanwhile, if your kids need some hoop time, check out the Booker T Washington Park. It’s a great spot for recreation and learning some history.

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